Bug Reports and Feature Requests Needs to be Reaccessible

Bug Reports and Feature Requests are the two most valuable categories on the Forum, in my opinion. Categories like Help and Feedback, while certainly more beneficial to the average developer, aren’t unique to the Forum and thus aren’t as valuable.

Unlike other avenues of communicating with the staff team, posting in the Forum allows others to review your concerns, show staff the urgency of a post, and suggest changes to a proposal.

That is why I believe reopening these categories, and by extension, reopening TL2, should be a significant concern for DevRel.


Many people have posted their proposals on this very topic, all shut down for various reasons, although one thing is clear:
Manually approving posts is no longer a viable solution. It is too much effort, and favoritism is inevitable.

For this reason, I propose we keep the system as it is, but we return to stat-based promotions to TL2. This proposal has been successfully argued against before, but I would like to add my arguments to the mix.


Stack Exchange: A Case Study

Stack Exchange, home of the famous Stack Overflow, has over 100 sites. Its largest have millions of posted questions, tens of millions of users, histories spanning over a decade, and many times the activity of the DevForum.

How do such large sites manage the hundreds of daily posts? Self-moderation centered on a reputation statistic.

On these sites, you gain reputation by doing several actions:

  • Solving someone’s question successfully,
  • Getting upvoted by others,
  • Posting a question others consider helpful,

among many other reasons.

The DevForum has no single computed statistic like the StackExchange sites. Yet, it is evident that statistic-based trust for sites can be used, even on the scale of the DevForum or larger.

Perhaps that is why Jeff Atwood, founder of StackOverflow, decided that stat-based trust was the best approach for Discourse, the forum software the DevForum uses, back when he founded it.

We believe this [stat-based] trust system has been a success so far, as it leads to stronger, more sustainable communities by carefully empowering members, regulars, and leaders to curate and lead their own communities.

- Jeff Atwood


Counterarguments

Stat-based systems will only lead to users grinding for a rank.

The purpose of the trust level system, once again described by Jeff Atwood:

Trust levels are a way of granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to.

To reach TL2, someone has to do multiple things:

  • Visit the site consistently over a lengthy period, months, or even years
  • Read through tens of thousands of posts and their replies
  • Not been suspended or flagged too many times
  • Make many meaningful replies and solutions
  • Have a large contribution-to-hearts ratio

Given these metrics, I do not believe it is possible to grind to TL2. Anyone who has met these criteria is an active contributor, has been on the Forum for a while, reads through many posts and their replies, knows the rules well, and makes contributions others feel are helpful.

Statistics do not meaningfully represent the quality of one’s contributions.

Three statistics counter this idea: your heart-to-contribution ratio, your’s number of contributions, and who hearted who. By requiring a minimum ratio for TL2, you force users to make contributions that others deem helpful. By enforcing a minimum number of contributions, you avoid cheating the ratio. Finally, by checking who hearted who, you ensure the disuse of an alt and favoritism.


Thank you for reading through this somewhat lengthy post. I’ll try to respond to anything quickly.

6 Likes

Support for this! Though I’d prefer if making of topics for #feature-requests isn’t allowed for members, rather replying should be available, since many make feature requests which are good, but doesn’t have sufficient use cases. Exception to be given for #feature-requests:talent-hub-features.

Bug reports on other hand, should be open to all TL1 users, in the current state, TL2 promotions are on hold from past 1.5 years, and the bug report wizard has been in beta for almost a year. I don’t see any ETA on the release. So it is crucial for it to be open.

Please don’t say Roblox support; while being useful, whoever is in charge of answering tickets, isn’t able to realize the urgency of the situation.

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The fact that the TL2 rank has been unavailable for a year, if not for more time, pretty much shows this is not something they’re planning to do. Yes, I am a Regular and I agree with this.

However, the point of the Regular rank is to prove you ACTUALLY can post in the category without help from Post Approval. No matter how strict the stat requirements will be, it’s simply impossible to get the TL2 rank by gaining meaningful stats and then prove you’re able to create very interesting and complete feature request/bug report topics.

Not only that, but there’s also another problem, which you mentioned yourself. Farming. I have seen many posts like this in the past: “Why am I not a Regular?”. They simply said their stats were great. This means that people have already attempted to farm stats. And it’s something you can understand by taking a look in the Announcements category. Plenty of “thank you” replies have been posted, and all of them have been posted as early as possible.

Finally, this is not Stack Overflow. Roblox is targeting a different audience (under 13s) and you can also realise that by checking categories like DD. I remember that during April Fools someone managed to cause literal chaos because he wanted to get his account deleted. No staff member was able to take action for almost 90 minutes. It’s something that’s not appropriate to do, not because of the scale of the forum, but because of its audience.

Just to clarify, I don’t disagree with your opinion. I just wanted to say this sounds like a very difficult challenge to overcome.

1 Like

Thank you for your input! If someone can meet all the criteria for TL2, it means that over many months or years, they’ve made a large number of contributions that others have deemed helpful and that don’t break the rules.

If someone can make these meaningful contributions, represented by statistics, I see no reason why their meaningful contributions in other categories wouldn’t transfer over to Bug Reports or Feature Requests.

In regards to farming by spamming replies, you’ll notice the vast majority of replies with no substantial content have no hearts, so attempting to farm like this would only hurt your chances, as it would negatively impact your contribution-to-heart ratio.

I also believe that anyone under 13 wouldn’t have the ability to create enough meaningful contributions to achieve TL2. Moreover, only users registered as >13 are allowed to be TL1. The Forum’s target audience is >13. Stat-based promotion isn’t supposed to weed out users who lied about their age, it’s to ensure Bug Reports and Feature Requests only contain posts made by people who have a a lengthy track record of quality contributions to other categories.

Staff members not responding quickly enough is another topic entirely, although I do agree it’s lacking.

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I am aware of that, and I specifically mentioned the site itself, not the forum. The problem is that those users under 13 can lie about their age and join the forum with little to no barriers preventing them from doing so in the first place.

Since this is an official Roblox website, the target audience of the main website itself will impact heavily the average age of forum users.

Statistics don’t represent the actual ability of a user to post on ANY category, not just Bug Reports and Feature Requests. In order to switch to a stat-based promotion system entirely, many measures will have to be implemented, like checking if people use alts in order to boost their stats (by utilising friend lists and IPs, for example).

The point I’m trying to make isn’t that these people should be ineligible for promotion, the problem is that they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

Even though the forum is 13+, the target audience of Roblox itself is kids under 13, as I said before. Therefore, those kids under the age of 13 might check out the forum. And if they lied about their age, they’re in and are able to get the TL1 rank. Imagine actually trying to explain something like a contribution-to-heart ratio to such young users, they’ll either ignore it or not understand it.

I think this is the point of the original post - the statistics are capable of indicating who is contributing well and who isn’t. Stack Overflow is a great example of a system that utilizes this and OP makes this point to support their ideas. I believe OP also makes mention of how these measures you mention would need to be necessary as part of measuring contribution properly, so I don’t see the point you’re trying to make.

Doing it this way allows a progression that can be at least semi automated, and if you’re worried about people farming, I will say this. If the farming posters are making good posts, and are benefitting others on the forum, then how would you differentiate them from a “genuine” forum user who provides meaningful help. Meanwhile those who are farming and not making an impact can easily be filtered out. To me it’s a non issue.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the new system is meant to take a similar approach, hence the wait for developing a robust way to analyze the statistics.

What I’m trying to explain is that without any improvements, a stat-based system simply won’t work see.



But… these aren’t farm posts??? They are contributions. I’m talking about posts like “thanks for this feature!!!1111111”.

After all, I don’t disagree with the OP, I just wanted to point out that, considering the fact there are this many barriers and the fact it’s been a year since it was promised there’d be a replacement, chances are it’s unlikely to see a change anytime soon.